Goals: The major goals are three-fold--(1) to improve writing and oral communication skills, (2) to increase analytical skills especially in relationship to historical problems and source materials, and (3) to further understanding of major historical changes occurring within the period.
The course will be divided into 7 two-week units. Each unit will have a particular focus. A paper covering that assignment will be due during each two week unit. After papers are distributed to the class, a general discussion of ideas will follow.
Theories: (1) oral and written traditions and their impact on memory and the historical tradition, (2) writing and "civilization", and (3) writing and educational institutions
Each student will be assigned one written and oral language. Each student will trace the history of their assigned language and examine at least one major way in which that language affected larger cultural patterns. Basic citation skills will be taught in this unit.
Readings: in Wiesner's Discovering the Global Past--Chapters One, Two, and Three.
Theories: (1) religious and communal unity/disunity, (2) religions as alternative orders of power, and (3) religion and personal faith
The class will be assigned readings in common from original source material. The written assignment for this unit will be a set, comparative essay.
Readings: in Wiesner's Discovering the Global Past--Chapters Seven and Nine.
Theories: (1) centralized versus decentralized political systems, (2) literacy and bureaucracies, (3) kingship as a symbol
Each member of the class will be assigned an individual ruler. The student must find the theoretical justification of power used by his or her assigned ruler. A documented paper will be submitted and discussion will ensue in class. Visual evidence as well as written evidence will be emphasized in this unit.
Readings: in Wiesner's Discovering the Global Past--Chapters Five, Six, and Ten.
Theories: (1) war and its impact on technology, (2) nomad versus settled communities, and (3) impact of war on society (good or bad)
The class will be assigned readings in common for this unit. The readings will involve modern analytical interpretation of the role of wars and technology on historical change. The class assignment will be to write a critical review of one of the reading covered.
Readings: in Wiesner's Discovering the Global Past--Chapter Five.
Theories: (1) irrigation systems and their significance, (2) material structures and the natural resources, and (3) buildings and power
Each student will be assigned either a city plan or a significant building. The student will discuss in an essay how the social milieu of the time affected the way the city or the building was constructed.
Readings: in Wiesner's Discovering the Global Past--Chapter Eight.
Theories: calendars and underlying ideology, (2) periodization of history, and (3) history versus sociology
The assignment for this unit will involve group activity. Groups of three students will be assigned a geographic region and will be asked to periodize the history of that area for discussion. They will need to justify the criteria used in selecting time periods.
Readings: in Wiesner's Discovering the Global Past--Chapter Thirteen.
Theories: (1) trade and war/peace, (2) trade and knowledge, (3) trade and power
Individually or in groups devise an educational game which involves some aspect of trade in our time period.
Readings: in Wiesner's Discovering the Global Past--Chapter Twelve.